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Archaeological and Historical Background

MEWAR, is famous for its magnificient medieval architectures at
Chittor Fort, Ranakpur, Nagada and Mt. Abu.

These architectural

and'sculptural wealth is reflected in the temples of the Shaivas,

Vaisnavas, Shaktas and Jains,

Eventhough the Jain temples and

sculptures deserve separate study, only those icons that are

common heritage of all sects are considered in this work that
deals with "Chittor Fort and some other important (Brahmanical)
Xconographical centres of Mewar : their image content and its
The extent of Mewar had varied from time to time, however,
very scanty references of the changing boundary patterns are
known to us.

It is traditionally believed that in 14th and 15th

centuries its boundaries almost touched the adjoining territories

of the states of Malwa, Gujarat and Delhi 1

Long drawn struggle

of Mewar with Delhi had its effects in the change of its


It is situated roughly between 23.49* and 25.28

north latitude and 73.1' and 75.49' longitude^

former state of Mewar

Thus the

was bounded on the north by Ajmer, Merwara

: 2 :
and the Shahapura Chief ship, on the west by Jodhpur and Sirohi,
on the south-west by Idar; on the south by Dungarpur, Bans wara
and Pratapgarh; on the east by Nimuch, Nimbahera., Bundi and Kota?
and on the north-east by Jaipur.
distributed in

At present this area is

three districts viz. Bhilwara, Chittor and

The land of Mewar looks like a rectangle, which is

almost surrounded by the ranges of the Aravali hills.

The Rivers

like, Banas, Sabarmati, Soma and Mahi flow from the region of Mewar.
Some scholars^ believe that the word MEWAR was derived from
Meda Tribe, who had settled here for a pretty long time.

also preferred by many to call it as MEDAPAT .

It is

They fhund its

base in the Ahar inscription of V.E.1000, now preserved in the

M.B,College Museum Udaipur; the Dhamma Parikkha manuscripts of
Harisena., preserved in Mahavir Bhavan Jaipur.
composed at Chittor in V,E,1044.

The work was

The Hathandi inscription of

V.E.1053 also notes it.MsMedapat indicating that this nomenclature

has its roots in ancient period.
Archaeological investigations^ have revealed a long duration
of human existence in this region.

Beginning from the Stone

Ages, the evidences of chalcolithic and early iron age are


This long history of human occupation suggests that

Natural environment of this region was conducive to human

The literary references suggest that Pariyatra mountain
forms the southern boundary of Aryavrata as noted by Baudhayana

: 3 :

(Cir.600 B.C.,)?.

The Ramayan*. Mahabharat*and Puranas have

specific references to this mountain, with' the river Banas

flowing form it8.

It rises in the Aravalli hills about 5 K.M*

from the fort of Kumbhalagarh, Udaipur district, and enters Into

Rasmi Tahsil of Ghittor dist., near Gegpuria Village^,


it is said that the Aryans were occupying this territory before


600 B.C.10.

The Mahabharat has also referred to Madhyamika i.e, the

Chittor and the Nagari region 11 .

The Vassavitara Jataka

mentions a city called jetuttara in the Kingdoom of the Sibis,

which Cunningham is inclined to identify with Madhyamika, while

N.L.Dey suggests that it might be the same as Jetuttara of

Alberuni, the capital of Maiwar12 .
The literary references cited above do not admit of a
definite chronological arrangementbut all of them must be
dated before the 5th Cent. A.D, when the Mahabharat is quoted
as a sata-sahasri Samhita and the Jatakas were commented on by

The existence of a Sibis Kingdom called Madhyamika in

eastern Mewar in the second cent. B.C. is proved by several

coins with the inscription,13
Chittor and Nagari.

which have been discovered at

One tradition says that Bhim Pandava visited

Chittor and constructed a citadel there,

Bhimagori tank,

situated in this fort is also attributed to him14 ,

The discovery of two rock inscriptions of Ashoka (C.250 BiC.)
near Bairat in Jaipur shows that Ashokas Empire extended to' this

part also^.

Some scholars believe that the Maury as Could not

occupy Mewar^.

In about 200 B.C. the Bacterian Greeks1^ came

down from the north and north-west.

They held their sway over


this portion including Nagjri or Madhyamika.

The ruins of this

aicient city can be seen at a distance of about 10 K.M. from the

fort of Chittor.

Some coins of the Greek Kings, Appolodotus and

Maneender have been found in Mewar


Sibi tribe of Punjab due to repeated Greek invasions, moved

in.this area and succeeded to occupy eastern part of Mewar, the
present district of Chittor & Bhilwara,. in the middle of the
2nd cent, B.C.


Coins of C,2nd cent. B.C. having the legend :

Maja-Mikaya-Sibi-Janapadasa, were found from Madhyamika Nagari

(Chittor) u, which proves the existence of this tribe in this
area before 2nd cent, B.C.


It is interesting to note that

this tribe at first had a monarchical constitution, but later on

developed republican Government pp .

Madhyamika. Nagari (Chittor)

is a one of the ancient sites of Rajasthan which flourished for

a period extending from the reign of the Mauryas and Kshatrapas
upto the Gupta period of Indian history.

Jamindar Rasesh States,

on the basis of the original sources viz. epigraphs and coins,

that Kshatrapas extended their boundaries upto Rajasthan



furilher, states that Rajasthan was under the rule of Kshatrapas

till 379 A.D.24

The Gupta dynasty ruled in Rajasthan from about the fourth

century A.D, to the end of 5th cent, A.D. The recent find of the

: 5 :

copper-plates of the time of Toramana indicates that this area

might have been under them during this period" ,

After them

several Rajput dynasties contested for the control of the,region.

The Guhilots later on known as Siscdias., held their sway^.
Their earliest inscription in Rajasthan is of 646 A,D. 27
The problem of origin of Guhilots, is an intricate one.
As regards their original home, it could not have been Ghittor as
believed by many Scholars.

Epigraphieal evidence alludes that

they might have migrated to Mewar from Gujarat and their early
home in Rajasthan might have been in south west Mewar from where
three of their early inscriptions have been,found



darkars theory^ says that the Guhilots are originally NagarBrahmaha%,, and it was accepted by the majority of the scholars.
In the Ghittor inscription^ of V.E.1331 (1274 A.D.) and Achleshwar temple inscription*^ of V.E.1342 (1285 A.D,), it is mentioned
that Bappa Raval changed his priestly splendour for.regal lustre.
This conception of the Brahman origin of the Guhilots was already
in existence during the time of'Maharana Kumbha^ .

Based on some

earlier references like (1) the Udaipur museum inscription of V.E.

1083 (1026 A.D.) found from Nagada^ (2) the Nadlai inscription^
of V.E.1557 (1500 A.D.) and (3) the Nagpur Museum inscription^"5
of 13th cent. A.D. and (4) Shringi-Rishi inscription^ of V.E.1485
(1428 A.D.,), some scholars infer that Guhilots were Kshatriya or


discussed both the aspects ;

Guhilot as Brahmarias and Guhilot as.Kshatriya in view of aviahble

epigraphieal materials, in his book history of Mewar,' and



Concluded that, 'They did not in their earlier inscription lay any
claim to descent from the Sun,

In the Atpar record of 977 A.D.

Kalabhoja is described as Arkasaroa (like the Sun) blit not as

belonging to the Arkakula or Suryavamsa of Saptasvavamsa.


late as the Chittorgarh inscription of 1335 V.r. (1278 A,D.)

Guhilaputtra Simha was simply styled as ^hatriya.

To find out

solar connection we have to travel down the stream of time till

we reach the fourteenth or fifteenth cent A,D,

In a fragmentary .

inscription of the time of Mokala it is stated for the first time

that Guhilot the head of the princes belonged to the Saptasvavamsa,
that is, the solar line".
The founder of the Guhila family was Guha


whose period of

reign cannot be fixed with any degree of exactitude due to the

non availability of sufficient inseriptional evidence.

But an

inscription from Samoli which tells about Siladitya who was

probably Guhas great grandeon, is available corresponding to the'
year 646 A.I), (V.E.703),

If 25 years be assigned to one genera

tion, Guhilas rise can be put in the period when there was
political disorder that followed the break-up of the Huna power
as well as the old age of Harshavardhana.
Amongst the early Guhilots, Siladitya was one of the most
important and enterprising rulers of Mewar.

The Samoli^ inscri

ption of 646 A.d, '.yields the information that he was the vanquis
her of the enemies. Similar account is also available in the
Chittor Inscription of V.E.1331* (1274 A.D.)^0. After the death
of Harshavardhan in 647 A.D. numerous independent kingdoms sprangup at the cost of his empire.

Taking the advantage of such

: 7 :

situation,, Siladitya of Mewar also. endeavoured to extend the

boundaries. of the state and captured Bhomat area, and storve hard
to raise the political status of the principality of the NagadaAhar branch of the Guhilots .

The Chittor inscription of V.E.1331,

(1274 A.D.) describes that 'even now when his name finds its way
to oui? ears, it makes us forget the names of others'.
inscription of V.E.1342. (1285 A.D.)


The Abu

contains the similar account,


Siladitya patronised the artist Shrinjadhara


A good

number of masterpieces of art were executed during the 6th to 8th

cent, A.D* in the area which comprised of the states of the
Guhilots at that time^. Dr,Shah states that the old western
school of Art* was possibly started by Shringadhara, and he was
patronised by Silaiditya, the pious racer and lower of art and
culture .
Siladitya was succeeded .by his son Aparajit. An inscription
of the year V.E.718 (66lt)A.*D.)^ found from village Kundeswar
near Udaipur, describes that Aparajit's commander of forces was
Varaha, whose wife Yasomati constructed a temple of Vishnu47 .
Aparajit was succeeded by his son Mahendra^8.
Raja Mahendra was succeeded bjrRaja Kalabhoja, popularly
known as Bappa Rawal


The exact dates of the rejgh of Bappa

Rawal are not known to us.


believes that he was bom

in 712 A.D. (V.E*769), occupied Shittor in 727 A.D. .(V.E.784)

and subsequently abdicated in 763 A.D. (V.E.820).

.As such no inscription of Bappas reign is known to us till


Bhandarkar^ cited an inscription from Ahar (V.E.1010)

and tried to fix the date of his abdication as V.E.810 (753 A*D*)#

0Za52 has considered two sources (i) an inscription belonging to

king Narvahana, V.E,1028 (971 A.D.) and (ii) a manuscript of
Ekling.ji Mahatyam, which is composed during the period of Kumbha,
The name Bapak (Bappa) is found in the inscription of V.E.1028,
which indicates that the reign of Bappa is not later than V.E,


It is stated n the Chapter of Rajvarnan of the Ekiingji

that the first welknown king Bappa had received a blessing from Sri Ekiingji, Lord Shiva in V.E.810^ ,

This clearly

indicates that Bappas existence in V.E.810 (753 A,.D.) Oza also

cited .information from Ekiingji Purana, another book on Ekiingji,
howhich was composed during the reign of Mspana Raimal.
Bappa abdicated in V.E.810 (753 -A.D.) and handed over all powers
to his son.and left for Nagada,

Another important thing is that,

it is said, "Bappa took Chittor from Mori and became himself the
mor (crown) of the land.

He obtained by universal consent the

title of Sun of the Hindus (Hinduhsuraj), preceptor of princes

(Raj Guru) and universal lord (Chakrawartin?"'^.

It; is said that

Mansarovar tank near Chittor was built by Mori king Mana,


this place an important inscription of V.E.770 (714 A.D.)V

found and published by Tod.


In this inscription the chronology

of the Mori kings was given, which establishes the fact of the
Mori dynasty being in possession of Chittor in V.E.770 (714. A.D.).
It shows that Chittor was conquered by Bappa after V.E,770.
According to Tod

, Bappa was boro in V.E.769 and when succeeded

to the Mori king, he is said to have been fifteen years old.

And in V.E.784 (728 A.D.) the foundation of the Guhilot dynasty

: 9 :

in Mewar was laid.

However, Oza has presented another view


If we consider the age fifteen years of Bappa too small, to

conquer the state, and such bravery could be possible only in
young age of 22 years, V.E.791 (734 A,D.) is the period for the
foundation of the Guhilot dynasty in Mewar,
Bappa-Rawal was succeeded by his son Khuman I in V.E.810
(753 A.D.)Very few historical records, telling the truth
regarding the king Khuman I and his successors Raja Mattata,
Bhartrupat and Simha, are known to us^..

One of the Bapas

decendants, Khuman II (812-836 A.D,) maintained warlike reputa

tion of his predecessor by making a common cause with the Gurjara
Prat'ihara ruLvers in checking the Arab expansion beyond Multan
and Sindh under Caliphate of Mamum Rashid^.

From the ninth

century to the close of the twelth century A.D., Mewar faced the
reverses at the hands of its powerful neighbours, the Chauhans
the parmaras and the Chalukyas^,

However, the Guhilots did not

submit meekly but continued to remain restive, and gathered their

strength slowly and steadily.

Finding a favourable opportunity,

Jaitra singh (1213-1261 A.D.) consolidated his power and checked

the advance of the. Turks towards Rajasthan.

Jaitra singh was

confident of the strength of his sword and so did not care to

respond to the call of the ruler of Gujarat when Iltutmish

This shows that the king of Mewar was reigning as an

independent ruler during that period


However, Chittor could

not resist the Turks led by Alauddin Khalji^.

Rana Ratan singh

offered,tough resistance against heavy odds in 1303 A.D. for about

: 1C :

six months.

During this invasion 5"^ the Rana,and Lakshman singh

Sisodia, alongwith his seven sons end thirty thousand Rajputs,

sacrificed their lives at the altar of national pride and defence
of their patrimony,*

The women alongwith Padmini .performed the

awful rite of Jauhar to save their honour and dharma,

Thus the

most important bastion of Rajput power fell before the Khalji


The Government of Chittor was entrusted by Alauddin

Khalji to his eldest son Khizrkhana, in 1304 A.D.^,

The dynastic revolution took place at Delhi during the first

part of fourteenth century A.D. Rana Hamir singh (1326-64 A.D.),
took the advantage of the situation and occupied Chittor and laid
the foundation of the Sisodia rule there^.

During this period,

he was the, sole Hindu prince of power now left in North India.
He consolidated his power and extended the frontiers of hiskingdom.
His influence and leadership was recognized by the rulers of 1
Marwar, Jaipur, Bundi, Gwalior, Chanderi, Raesin, Sikri, Kalpi,
Abu etc.^.

Maharana Hamir bequeathed a strong kingdom to his successor

and eldest son Kshetra singh^ (1364-82 A.D*), who extended his
dominion as far as Ajmer in the north and Chappan in the south.
He upheld the family reputation by obtaining a victory over Ami
shah alias' Dilawarkhan Ghori of Maiwa.
Hadas of Hadauti.

He also subjugated the

Rana Lakha Singh^0, (1382-1421}A,D.), the son

of Hamir Singh, subjugated the frontier Chiefs, and maintained

traditional hostility with Turks.

He encountered Muhammad shah

: 11 :


Tughlaq and is said to have carried the war to Goya, Allahabad

and Varansai.

The Rana was a patron of learning.

Among royal

authors Jhoting Bhatt and Dhaneshwara Bhatt deserve special

Rana Mokal (1421-1433 A.D.)^ succeeded his father, Lakha.
He-strengthened his territory by waging wars against his enemies.
He undertook an expedition to Nagor and won a victory at Rampura
over Firoz Khan in about 1428 A.D.
of Sambhar and Jalor.

He over ran the territories

He is said to have succeeded in inflicting

a crushing defeat upon Ahmadshah of Gujarat.

He was not only a

dauntless fighter, but was also a lover of learning and fine arts.
He repaired temple of Samadhiswara at Chittor, a Magnificent relic
of Rajput art*

He constructed ramparts around the Eklingji Temple.

As a pious follower of Brahmanism, he constructed a beautiful tank

at papmochan Tirtha, and celebrated tuladan of Gold, silver and
precious jewels.

The famous sculptors Mana, Fana and Visal flou

rished in Mewar under his royal patronage.

Yogeshwar and Vishnu

Bhatt were scholars of his period.

Maharana Khumbha (1433-1468 A.D.)'r?p succeeded, his father
Mokal in 1433 A.D. Kumbha had to face, when he came to throne, not
only the internal crisis, but adverse external situation also.
The rulers of Sirohl, Bundi, Dungarpur etc* were keeping hostile
attitude towards his father Mokal and succeeded in snatching away
some villages of Mewar contiguous to their respective states*
On the other hand, there was constant apprehension of the invasion

: 12 :

of the Sultans of Nagaur Malwa and Gujarat* who were having

covetous eyes on Mewar,
The war activities of this house reached their zenith under

He vanquished his enetoies reduced them to submission and

added parts of their territories to Ms kingdom*

He carried his

arms as far as Sarangpur, captured countless captives, laid siege

to Mandu and carried Mahmud as prisoner of War to Chittor.


commemoration of his victory he erected the Kirti stambha (Vijaya

stambha) at Chittor

To retrieve this defeat the Sultan

organized several ventures against Kumbhalgarh* Mandalgarh and


But finding the prospects of success uncertain, he

retired to Malwa. , Even the joint actions of Sultans of Malwa

and Gujarat


desired end*

to invest .the forts of Mewar failed to achieve the

In these wars, the Rana was always of his defence

against the offensive wars of the Sultans,

It must be said in

favour of the Rana that during the course of the ceaseless wars
he did not lose an inch of land out of his patrimony.
Maharana Khmbha was not only great in War* he was also
scholar and poet of no Imean repute

He took special interest

in the studies of sacred lore, logic* philosophy, mathematics,

political science* grammer, metaphysics and general literature.
The commentary on the Gita-Govind*. named.Rasika priya and the
last part of the Eklinga Mahatmya has been attributed to him.
He also figures as a dramatist, linguist and musician.


works like the Sangitaraja, the Sangita Mimamsa and the Sangita

: 13

Ratnakar are evidence of' his mastery on the science of Mustei


the promotion of learning he extended his patronage to $tri and

Mahesh, the celebrated composers of the inscription of the Vijayastambha.
Maharana Kumbha was also known as an enthusiastic builder


During his reign several forts, palaces, inns, schools, tanks etc.
were built.

The temples of Sringar (hauri constructed during his '

reign reveal, the art of stone building, sculpture, design and

execution in its perfection.

His great architectural taste was

manifested in the construction of a line of gigantic forts like

Kumbhalgarh and Achalgarh, which are the highest achievements of
his military and constructive genius.

He also strengthened the

defences of Chittor and built seven of its gates and a road lead
ing up the hill.

Jaita, Napa, Punja, Dipa and Mandan were well

known architects of his period 77 .

Heroic traditions 78 found their best expression in the reign
of Kumbhas grandson Sanga (1509-1528 A.D.), who was one of the
most notable princes of Rajasthan.
a leader of par excellence.
Malwa and Gujarat.

In war and diplomacy, he was

He established his supremacy over

Baburs conquest of north-western India and

the defeat of Ibrahim Lodi at ftanipat made it evidence that a

clash between Babur and Rana Sanga, who had defeated Ibrahim was

As consequence both engaged in a deadly conflict at

Though Khanua proved to be a tragic climax to his mili

tary career, he, neverthless, was at his best when struggling

: 14 :

against his adversaries.

Owing to his dauntless courage and love

for his country* Sanga is still remembered as the Champion of

Indian interests and protector of Indian culture.
This phase of reverses of Mewar again ended with the accession of Udai Singh (1536-1572 A,D.) who restored order and erected
effective barriers against the suspected advance of the Mughals.
1-Ie realised the futility of staking everything on the defences of
a fort that lay exposed in the open, and sought out a new site
for his capital in the Girwa, a mountanious region in the Udaipur
district, which was well protected by inaccessible ranges of

He laid down the foundation, of Moti Magri palace in or

about 1559 A.D. and about the same'time established his capital
at Udaipur


Meanwhile Akber, who had brought under his control

the fortress of Merta, and had entered into matrimonial alliance

with the Kachhawahas of Amber, was making preparations for the
reduction of Chittor and convert the Rana into his vassal Rn .
Udaisingh called a war council to decide how to defend the fort
in the critical moment.

The precautionary and war steps were

taken, though, in the meantime Akbar reached Chittor on 23rd

October 1567 and laid siege to the historic fort

Udai Singh died in 1572^, afterwards, his son Pratap8^

(1572-1597) became the Rana of Mewar.

Trained in the school of

adversity and war Maharana had developed good qualities, which

helped him to become an able leader of his people.

When Akbar

was going ahead with the realisation of his ideals of imperialism,

: 15 :

Pratap stood for the independence of his country.

The examples

and traditions laid down by Maharana Kumbha and Sanga possessed

for him a peculiar charm on account of the high moral tone and
the free thinking of independence they breathed.

Like a true

soldier of liberty he prepared himself to face the determined

force of Akbar at Haldighati (1576 A.D,)*

When it came to retreat,

he adjusted with the circumstances and communicated a new force

to the people.

He stirred the people of Mewar to their intermost

depths and it v/as the hard discipline of a long war,' which

cemented the national and patriotic instinct in his fellow count

He did his best to save the state from the perils of

external invasions.

By virtue of his being a true general and an

eble leader of public, Maharana Pratap will continue to uphold the

pride of the Indians for generations.

Amar Singh (1597-1620.)

tions for defence of Mewar.

engaged himself in making prepara

He boldly stood against the repeated

.invasions of the Mughals for about twenty years.

But when it

came to entering into a peace with prince Khurram, he, as a const

itutionalist, accepted the terms under the pressure of his own

With the conclusion of the treaty the stromy days of Mewar

same to a close for a temporary period, and the time of repose

from 1615 to 1650 A.D. was utilized in the direction of peaceful

But with the accession of Jagat Singh (1628-52 A.D.),8^

the cordiality between the ruling family of Mewar and that of

Delhi suffered a setback*

Finding Shah Jahan occupied in the

internal affairs of his empire, the Rana began to exert his

influence oyer the neighbouring states of Pratapgarh, Sirohi,

Banswara and Dungurpur.
of Chittor,

He also engaged in repairing the fort

When he came to know about the displeasure of the

emperor, he tried to develop friendly relations with him.


had uninterrupted tranquility for devoting his time to the culti

vation of the peaceful arts, especially architecture and learning.
The jagadish Temple, Mohanraandir and the Jagmandir palace are
among his magnificent constructions, well noted for their variety
and richness of designs.
Rajsingh (1652-1630 A,D,)8b succeeded his father Jagatsingh,
early in whose reign Mewar made attempts to raise its status.
With confidence and courage he hastened to complete the repairs
of the walls of Chittor Fort, and to establish strong defences to
offer resistance to the enemy from the side of the hilly tracts.
He then applied himself to ensuring the security of the frontiers
of his kingdom with a view-to strengthening his western frontiers,
he had to measure his strength with Aurangzeh,

He also cemented

the Sisodia-Rathor alliance to check the progress of the Mughals,

Happily the wars of the age and treaties heralded in Mewar a new
school of architecture, which reached its climax in the construc
tion of i&.vchduki at Raj nagar, a superb piece of decoration and
ornamentation of high order,
After Rajsingh, several rulers 37' like jaisingh,. Amar Singh II
Sangram Singh II, Jsgat Singh II, Ari Singh, Hamrair Singh II and
Bhim Singh ascended the throne of Mewar.

In maintaining the

power and dignity of their kingdom, the people and the Royal

: 17 :

family, they faced the hostility of the later Mughals and the
aggressions of the Marathas with ability and energy.

Though the

force of time led Bhim Singh to recognise the sovereignty of the


English over Mewar in 1818 A.B,

it effected a closer association

between the Government Mewar and India.

This affinity was further

strengthened by adopting writing, Ghitrakuta-Udaipur and DostiLondon on the coins circulated by Maharana Swaropp Singh (18421@61)?^ The relations with the British Emperor, the Government of
India, influenced considerably the political, commercial and cons
titutional activities in Mewar.

Iconographical (Brahmanical) Centres of Mewar*


The name of Chittorgarh (Chittor) is closely linked up with

the Golden Age of Rajput chivalry.

It was also known as Chitra-

An early time Madhyamika, the present Nagari, located near

Chittor, had been the key to Rajasthan and was, therefore,

besieged by the Greek invader Demetros in the 2nd century BiC,^5

Several Sibi coins


found at Chittor and Nagari lead us to

believe that the same region formed a centre of the Janapada of

the Sibis , in 2nd,cent, B.C.


Recent discoveries of inscriptions

(dateble to 424 A.D, & 490 A.D.) of the period of Yasodharman of

Malwa from Madhyamika (Nagari),^ have made it abundantly clear
that Chittor was, for a long period, within the cultural and

see Map No. One.

-1 i

: 18 :

political orbit of Malwa.

ant centre.

This shows that Chittor was an import

Before the end of the 6th century A.D. the Mauryas,

(Moris, a local dynasty of the region) were in possession of

Chittor Fort^.

Epigraphic evidence points to the inclusion of

Chittor ifithin the. kingdom of the Gurjara

between 794 and 814 A.D.^,

Pratiharas sometimes

The Moris were overthrown in A.D. 728 by the Guhilot Bappa

dynasty, Hou)ever, far many center/es to come the ^ohilots

Rawal, the reputed founder of Guhilot^ had to reside at Nagadrahapura (Nagada near Eklingji), as Chittor was successively garri
soned by the Pratihara emprerors of Kanauj (9th Cent.A.D,), the
Rashtrakutas of the Deccan (10th Cent. A.D.) and the Paramaras
of Malwa.

When that latter dynasty declined towards the end of

the 11th Cent. A.D. the Guhilots recovered Chittor, but had soon
to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Chaulukya-solankis of

From the foregoing account of the ascendancies of the

Moris, the Paramaras, the Chaulukyas and the Chauhans,, some

difficulty is observed in determining the time of the occupation
of Chittor by Bappa Rawal. Oza^'5 depends on the Eklingamahatmya
of the 15th Cent. A.D. and fixes his time between 734-753 A.D,
~nd also believes that he occupied Chittor somewhere between
these years. While Tod^ gives 725 A.D, as the year of occupa
tion of Chittor.

But from a close study of the Samoli inscrip

tion of 646 A.D. and other later inscriptions we are led to fix
Guhil^ time97 in the late 5th cent, and that, of Bappa in the

early 7th dent. A.D,

Further, the epigraphic evidence


713 A.D., 754 A.D and 830 A.D. leads us to the fact that Chittor

: 19 :

was in the possession of the princes Man, : Kukareswar and Dharnivaraha during the 8th and early 9th century A.D.

The sources

used by Col* Tod^, the Ra.jprashastimahakavya and Mansi* s Khyat

are of seventeenth century.

On the other hand, no earlier

epigraphs like the Abu inscription (1285 A.D.)^0^, the Kumbhas

inscription (1460 A.Di)^0^ and Eklinga inscription (1488 A.D,)"*02
have referred to the Bappas occupation of Chittor in the premedieval period.

Throughout the period, from the 5th cent, to

the early 13th cent. A.D._, Chittor was in the possession of the
dynasties other than the Guhilots.

And it is right in thinking

that it was not Bappa but Jaitra Singh (1213-1261. A.D.who

occupied Chittor during the days of the fall of the Chaulukyan

It will then not be unreasonable to think that

Bappas occupation of Chittor requires more work to establish it

as a fact.

After Jaitra Singh (1213-1261 A.D.), the Chittor Fort

remained in the hands of the Guhilots and Sisodiyas,

When the fort of Chittor was built, is difficult to decide.

The tradition ascribes the construction of the fort to Bhima, /
the second of the Pandavas^^..

Within the walls of the fort, there are fields, ruined civic
structures, smiling lakes, deep reservoirs and splendid monuments
of the intrinsic beauty.

But the vast majority are now levelled

with the ground, the only ones that have survived the ravages of
time and ruthless destruction of the invaders, are some of the
towers or temples or palaces.

Both, the Brahmanical and Jain

temples and monuments are the real wealth of this fort^


: 20 :
Tegiples and other civil architectural works located in the Ghittor
Fort are shown in the map No.Two,

Vi.jaya Stambha
In the fort, two tower or Pillars are preserved.
larly known as Vijayastambha (Tower, of victory)
as Kirt^istambha.

One popu-

and second one

The later one is a Jain structure which has

not been discussed here.

The Vijayastambha was constructed by

Maharana Kumbha in 1449 A.D. to commemo'd#? his victory over Sultan

Mahmud Khalji in 1438 A.D.

It is cne hundred and twenty feet in

height with a central staircase passing through nine storeys.

Its doors, colonnaded porticoes, trellis windows, balustrades,
columns, horizontal bands and cornices offer a compact view of
one mass of effective structure.

A long prasasti which was begun by Kumbha's Pandit-scholar

Atri and finished by his son Mahesh, was placed in position on
the 9th storey of the Vijayastambha, on 5th Vadi of Marga-Sirsa
V.B.1517/1460 A.D.

Though a grand panegyric, it is an extremely

important historical document, giving almost a complete view of

Kumbhas many-faceted personality, his versatile genius and
above all, his prolific cultural pursuits.

Translation of three

interesting verses is given below;

"This abode of Kumbhaswamin,. Lord Vishnu, was built by

It is beautiful like the Kailasa, the high abode of Gods,

and full of wonderful things like the Himalaya.

By the lustre

of its golden ornaments, it excels the beauty of the mythological

mountain Meru.

It is so high as to look like the Tilaka of the


world and the Mukuta of Chittorgarh.

Is it representative of the

Kailasa ? Does it denote the laughter of Shiva ? A compendium of

moonlight, is it part of the Himalaya ?

This beautiful abode

full of different subjects i.e. images of different Gods, was

built for Vishnu by Kumbha on the Chittor mountain.

Near it

where a number of lofty temples ornamented with golden shikharas

and a temple dedicated to Adivarahs were consecrated various
images of Lord Vishnu".
Fergusson says, while estimating the aesthetic valuation orf
this beautiful Brahmanical monument, that, the monument is "like
that of Trajan at Rome but in infinitely better taste as an archi
tectural object than the Roman example, though in sculpture it
may be inferior".

It is covered with architectural ornaments and

sculptures of Hindu divinites, exceedingly important from the

iconographic point of view as everyone of the divinities sculpt
ured has its name inscribed below in Nagari characters giving us
carved in stone, as it were, an illustrated handbook of Hindu
Iconography of fifteenth century.

The large number of sculptural

figures set on the tower relate to Hindu religion, philosophy,

musfc.^ dance etc, and present an Encyclopaedic view of Indian
It is an important thing to note here that there Is an inter
esting panel on the fifth storey, giving effigies of all the
craftsmen (sculptors or sbiplins) of the structure.

Jaita who

is called the sutradhara, Chief architect, Is represented as

: 22 :
seated on a chair with two of his sons Napa and Punja on his right
and another son Pama on the left.

This panel records the names of

the architects, is an additional dimension to the appreciation of.

the Vijayastambha.
As stated in the Vijayastambha prasasti, it was full of all
wonderful things like the Himalaya i.e, the highest mythological
abode of all Gods

The sculptures of Gods,

Goddesses, and other

divinities, devanganas (Lalita and Lika), rivers {C-anga and Yamuna),

seasons, krsna and sukla paksas, the four Yugas (Yaliyugu and
Dwapara), ayudhas (Trisula and shakti) Yaksas, kinnaras, even
bhutas, vaitalas and dakinis, nartakis,- tapasvins and common deno
mination of the contemporary society - all are
sculptures, in beautiful personified forms.

represented in

These are systemati

cally and orderly stainoned at various levels in and on its nine


Temples and other Monuments _

The epigraphical source of early eighth century A.D."10^ ' " ~ '
*b ells

us that one Manabhanga of the Maurya Dynasty, obviously

the same as Raja Mana mentioned in a prasasti of 713 A.D. found

by Tod


, is recorded to have built at Chittor Fort tanks, step-

wells and also temples each dedicated to Surya and Shiva.


prasasti found by Tod,, mentioned one Raja Mana who built the
lake Manasarovara.
The Gaumu.kha Tirthasthala is one of the three most sacred

23 :

sites on the fort, the other two being the Bhimlat reservoir and
the Chftranga Mori reservoir.

Situated south of the J aimal-

Pattas tank, slightly to the east of the Suraj kund, near east
ern ramparts, Bhimlat, is a large, deep, rock-cut tank v/ith stairs
on the eastern and northern sides,
overlooks it on the western bank.
temple originally.

A renovated ancient temple

It could have been a S-un

The present Kalika-Mata temple was probably

originally the Sun temple built by Raja Manabhanga in the 8th

century A.D, It has been renovated from time to time 108
The famous Sarnadhiswara temple is situated at Gaumukha Tirthasthal on the northern bank of the Gaumukh-Kunda, just over
looking the western ramparts in the Chittor-Fort.

Though an

ancient temple, it has been restored from time to time over a

period of about five centuries from 11th to 15th century A,D, and
consequently it has representations of several styles and stamps
of several epochs of art, This temple10^ was built by Bhoja
P:aramara (1018-54 A.D,) and was famous as Tribhuwana-Narayana.
The inscription dated 1301 A.D,


temple called Bhoja-Swamin Jagati,

refers to it as the same

Rawal Samarsingh



the whole area of Gaumukha-Tirthasthala on account of its sanc

tity and built its two gateways on the northern and eastern

Two inscriptions were placed on the northern gateway as

record of this construction.


One epigraph on a slab has survi

This panegyric dated 1274 A.D, ivas composed by Veda sarman.

This invokes Lord Shiva as Sarnadhiswara (Lord of samadhi) whose

temple was situated in close proximity; as a matter of fact, the

panegyric is closely related to this temple of Samadhiswara and

that is why it mentions and invokes him.

Another prasasti


composed by the same Veda Sarman is found in a Saiva Matha near

the temple of Achaleshwar at Abu, which is dated of 1285 A.Dt
This also records the information regarding Samadhiswara Temple
of Chittor Fort,

These epigraphs help us to ascertain the

situation of the. temple.

This epigraphieal data confirms that

king Bhoja Paramara built a Shiva Temple in the Chittor Fort

about the mildle of 11th cent. A.D.
Narayana after his blruda.

It was called Tribhuwana-

It was also called Bhoja-Swamin

Some time later, about the middle of the 12th

century A.D, it was famous as the temple of Shiva, Samadhiswara

The present Kumbha^y&mn Temple is the same Tripuravijaya
temple built in the early 8th Cent. A.D. 113 ,

Though of gigna-

tic dimensions, both on the horizontal axis and the vertical,

it is a patch-work and its architecture lias more than enough
evidence to show that it is an earlier construction.


did not begin it, he only restored and rebuilt it, and dedi
cated it to Lord Vishnu,

Some features of the temple e.g,

curious plan of the interior and three mandapas conjoined in

a continuous series: of 20 pillars of different conformation,
proportion of Shiva and Vaisnava icons in the temple, compara
tively plain bhittjj Jamgha and Pradaksina-patha and a dispro
portionate and confused superstructure, amply confirm that the
present structure does not belong to a single, unified and
homogeneous plan and design. It is found necessary to note
here that his two other temples at Achalgarh and Kumohalgarh

: 25 s.

which also bear the same nomenclature, are in contrast, each a

homogeneous architecture as per inductions laid down in the texts
on -Architecture a*id '.iconography,
The Shringar Chau.ri


"*1 lx


built in 1448 A*D., is the

place where both Brahmanical and -Jain, images are found*


it is an important place in the northern India, where images of

two.different sects viz, Brahmanical and Jain are found.

It may

create the doubt in our mind, that perhaps this was built on the
ancient ruined structure.
purna temple

A better attested ruin is the Anna-

which, however, was completely rebuilt by Hamir

Singh (1301-64), but still possesses some later Gupta reliefs.

Just near the main entrance gate viz, Rampol, there is a small
and beautiful temple Tulja Bhawani built in the 16th
cent, A.D, by the usurper Banbir,
* The Ratneswar Tank and
Ratneswar temple located near the Lakhota Bari, are probably

belonging to the reign of Mahartana Ratanasingh

The present

day belief that Rana Sanga built the Mira Ka Mandir adjoining the
Kumbhashyam Temple seems to require more proofs to establish it.
It was during the reigns of Mokal and Kumbha that old temples or
ruined structures were.repaired or rebuilt and were also given
new names,

KUMBHALGARH was designed by Kaiidan and built by Maharana

Kumbha in 1458 A.D* on the site of an ancient castle which tradi

tion ascribes to Samprati, a Jaina prince.

It is about 90 Kilo-

: 26 s
meters aways from Udaipur and it was built to guard the territo
ries of Mewar,

It is enclosed within several mountain ranges

and commands a fine view of the wild and rugged scenery of the
Aravali,<n7/sand sandy deserts of Marwar.

Just on the ridge below

the palace of Kumbha, the cluster of the temples of Shiva,

Mahavir and Krishna, some in a perfect state of preservation
while others in ruined condition.

Here stands a temple of Nilk-

anth constructed by Kumbha for his daily worship.

Nearby he

constructed another temple of Kumbhasliyam as a token of his

veneration towards Lord Krishna.

Another noteworthy structure

near the temple of Nilkantha is a Vedi or Altar where the Yagna

was performed by Kumbha on the occassion of consecration ceremony
of the fort.

Near the palace, there is Navachoki, a temple dedi

cated to Navadurga.

The present Ekling.ji, or Kailashpuri is a pilgrim place

situated in a narrow defile 21 kms. to the north of Udaipur.

This place was destined to become the centre of saivate cult,
from the days of the early settlement of the Guhilots in Mewar.

it is believed, Bappa Rawal, in a state of his

cowherdship, was destined to have his contact with the sage

Harita, the great exponent of Pashupata Saivism.

With the per

mission of his preceptor Bappa constructed a shrine over a lingam

of Eklinga, which was worshipped within the grove of the Bamboos,
both by the sage and the Pupil.

It is also said that on account

: 27 :

of Harita's favour Bappa defeated his enemies in great battles

and finally built his fortune in and around this region.

The rulers of Bappas line have been credited with having

repaired and reconstructed the temple of Eklingji which was
dismentaled or damaged during several invasions conducted by the
Sultans of Delhi, Malwa and Gujarat.

The Eklinga prasasti


informs us that the present form' of the temple and its environs
may be ascribed to Khuman (753 A.D.), Jaitra Singh (1213 A.D.);
Mokal (1421 A.D.); Kumbha (1433 A,D.) and Raimal (1473 A.D.).
The frontal gate, the narrow and long approach, the courtyards
of high and low levels, irregular rows of shrines in and around
the main temple etc. are the evidences of the constructions of
temple belonging to different ages.

There are three monuments

of archaeological interest at Eklingji.

The most prominent and

largest of all temples is the Eklingajitemple, consisting of a

main shrine with three doors, adjoining chamber, hall and a porch.
The most fascinating temple at Eklingji .is known as Mira Temple
which was virtually dedicated to Vishnu by Maharana Kumbha 121
which stands as unique example of standard craftmanship of the
15th Cent. A.D.

Within the premises, the Nath Temple is the

oldest one near the main temple.

This shrine exhibits an art

which is in tune with the spirit of the 10th century A.D.


inscription dated 971, A.D. belonging to the temple gives many

information on cultural and other aspect of history


NAGADA or Nagarada of inscriptional records or Nagadraha

: 28 :

of bardic literature was the first capital of the Guhilots of


It is nearly 22 Killometers north of Udaipur.


ancient site comprises Nagada proper and the present Eklingji,

for during those days there was nc separate existence of the
Eklingaji village.

It is said to have been founded in the sixth

or early seventh century by Nagaditya


One can find the

justification of its nomenclature in the .Myth of the burning .of

snakes by Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit.

Nagada happended

to be the capital city of Mewar right from the sixth cent. A.D.
to the thirteenth Cent. A.D; though sometimes Ayad or Aghatpur
and Chittor also enjoyed the credit of being the seat of Imperial

It seems, as the first capital of Mewar happens to be in

the heart of mountain ranges, it had not to face so many inva
sions as other capitals had to do.

However, the invasion by

Altutmish who was boldly faced by Jaitra Singh probably between

1222 to 1229 A.D., is mentioned in the inscription found on the
Sun temple at Nadesama village.


This epig'^phical record tells

us that, upto the 13th cent. A.D. Nagada was enjoying the seat
of Imperial Guhilots.

In Nagada, there are monuments belonging to both sects viz.

Jain and Vaishnavait.

Many of them vanished under water when

Mokal constru deed Baghela tank near by.

The temple complex known

as Sas-Bahu Temples 127 , possibly constructed in 11th cent. A,d.

is an interesting complex.,.

The smaller in the north is Called

s 29 :

Bahus temple.and the larger one in the south is called Sas

temple with a Hindola Torah or a swinging arch in the front.
The former is plain in design while the later is profusely deco

This complex has images belonging to early medieval

period, of Iconographical interest


RAJNAGAR (Raj-Samumidra)

The lake of Ra.j-Samundra at Rsjnagar


, is an artificial

lake and lies to the north of Kankroli and located in the north
east of Udaipur, about 70 Kms away.
has been

This great national treasure

formed by arresting the course of small perer nial stream

called Goraati, This, is a fine sheet of water, extending over

5 Kms in length and 2,5 Kms in breadth, J

The construction work

of lake was commenced by Rana Rajj gtngh (1652 6.D* - 1680

in 1662 A,D,

The purpose of its construction was mainly to ward

off famines and perpetuate his own name and fame 151 ,

The work

was completed in 1670 A,D, but the inauguration ceremony of the

lake was held in 1676 Ad,

The most interesting part of the lake is the dyke built at

its south-western exteremity between the two hills,

It is about

182 meters long and 64 meters broad and is entirely made of while
marble including a flight of steps, wide platforms, pavilions
and Torans,

On the three broad platforms which touch the

waters edge there stand three edifices, each consisting of

jchree Chhatries in a group, which are locally known as Wavchauki
or Wo-choki,

These Navchaukies have a definitely individual

: 30 :

architectural character, different from that in any other part

of the country.

Such Chhatries on the embankment of the lakes,

are also known as Baradaries.

The Chhatries in a group have the simplest and most natural
form of a rectangular framework composed of pillars, beams,
brackets, wide projecting eaves or gallery and designs of triple
cornice above.

Its entire appearance makes it artistically beau

tiful by means of the sculptured art over its body.

The Panels

depicting the Hindu Gods are also additional attraftion.


RANAKPUR is located 96 Kms., sway from Udaipur*

The -Jain

religion flourished in Ranakpur in the medieval period, alongwith

the Hindu,

The stupendous Trilokyadipak Nalini Gulmadev Viman,

a Jain shrine, a colossal marble structure by all standards a

gigantic work of its type is belonging to the I4th-15th century

A very interesting Sun temple with, rich image contents also

exists at Ranakpur,, probably Maherana Kumbha built this temple 13? .



UDAIPUR, was established by tfdai Singh (1536-1572),^^ on

realising the necessity of the capital protected by all means*

Udaipur is replete with big and small temples.

Both, Saivaite


and Vais'navaite temples and _ ' ; '

on civil monuments [sve found
in Udaipur. Udaishyam Temple 134
^ on Hanuman Ghat, the earliest
temple in this city, is traditionally assigned to the reign of

: 31 S

Udai singh, late 16th Cent. A.D.

The large size Jagdish Temple**^

was built by jagat Singh in 1652 A.D,

This temple was damaged

during the time Aurangzab, and it was repaired by Maharana

Sangram Singh* (1710 - 1734A.D.) Daxinamurti Shivalaya, near.
Pichhola lake, was also constructed by Sangram Singh
. The
Shiva Temple near Delhi gate, is the important one in view of
the insdribed images found there.
In 1664 A.D., Amba Mata temple*^^ was built by Maharana Raj'

The Rajarajeswar Temple, possibly built during the reign

of Raj Singh also has good images of Hindu sects


reign of Rajsingh, the construction of Vishnu Temple

Bavadi (stenp'well) was also done^^.

During the

It is stated in Virvinod,

that the Bhimpadmasvar or Bhimparmesv/ar, a Shiva Temple, on the

Pi /chhola lake, was built by Rani Padmakuvari, wife of Maharana
Bhimsingh, in 1827 A.D.^^. Another temple on the same lake
known as Mahakalika temple, was built by Maharana Jawansingh in '
1836 A.D.

The construction work of the temples like Pashupa-

teswar, Swarup Bihari, Jagat Shiromani, and Jawan-Suraj-B ihari

was took place during this reign of Maharana Sarupsingh (18421861 A.D.)f^'.

Auras Mata, the mother of Maharana Shambhu Singh

built Gokulchandrama Temple in Udaipur, while his wife, Maharani

Medtani, constructed a Vishnu Temple and Bavadi in the main
market area
* The impetus given to this type of construction
work by his successors and the period of peace anc^prospe'rity
during the period following the signing of subsidiary alliance
between Mewar and the British power in India, resulted in an

: 32 :

immense programme of temple building activity both state patro

nised and private which continued upto the beginning of the twenv
tieth century, when Maharana Fateh Singh turned his attention
to the repair of the ancient monuments within the state#
AYAD^^, Ahar or Aghatpur, is the one of the forgotten
capitals of Mewar.

It is very near, and located in the north

eastern corner of Udaipur city,

Ayads claim on the iconographer's attention, rests on its hapjazard collection of ancient
images laying embedded in the recently repaired,
and Kund locally known as Gangodbhav,.

Jain Temples

The ancient Ayad appears

to be very extensive as its colossal ruins can be seen scattered

20 Kms around the modern town which has developed during the last
two hundred years.

Of the many of such materials taken out of

the ruins are the inscriptions

of Allat of V.s.1008-1010 at

Sarnath temple and the two inscribed slabs used as staircase or

steps In one of the Jain Temples and Hastimata temple.


of beautiful sculptures, images and carved screens and stones

have been used indiscriminately in the several modern construc
tions of temples, houses and wells in and around modern town.
The Gangodbhav is the most ancient of the remains of Ayad.
It comprises a platform, where formerly stood a four colummed
Chhatri, and a reservoir of water running around it.

The whole

area referred to above has been deprived of its antiquity by

modern repairs, however, the materials used for its repairs here
and there give the idea of an ancient style of sculfture.


: 33 ;

pieces are the images of Shiva and Parvati, Surya and Vishnu in
the profile.

Traditionaly, it is said that the river Ganges

bubbled up here through the strength of the devotion of a lady

who was left here by her father-in-law.

Since then it is termed

as Gangodjhav, Till today, people used to take bath in the sacred

water of the reservoir.

Some stories inform us that it is a

memorial spot of Gandharvasen the father of Vikramaditya^

It is referred to, in the inscription of 943 A.d, found from Ayad,
that the Adivarah Temple was built in the Gangodbhav Tirth at

The eastern parts of the reservoir consists of the

royal cenotaphs area commonly called the Maha-Sati^set aside

since the abandonment of chittor, for ere ating and erecting
cenotaphs in memory of the Maharanas, members of the ruling
family, and some of the nobility and principal officials 14s ,


Shiva temple adjoining to the tank, the Vishnu temple, popularly

known as the Mira Ka Mandir etc* are having some examples of
rare Brahmanical Icons.

Ayad"s past history goes back to 1st

Cent.B.C, however no image of that far distant period is found.

The images in Gangodbhav and its adjoining temples and templets,
and also those found embedded in the compound walls of the Jain
temples are belonging to a period streching from 10th to 13th
Cent, A*D,
UDAISAGAR^^, a lake, located about 10 Kms, in the east of
Udaipur and about 5 Kms* in the south east of Debar!.

It was

built by Maharana Udaisingfiduring the period of 1559 to 1564 A.d.

The Charbhuja temple and other templets at Udaisagar probably
buiit by him only* This temple complex, still has few images with

: 34 :

inconographical peculiarties,
JAGAT is located 50 Kms away in the south-east of Udaipur

The Ambaji Temple at jagat, a medium size structure dedid

cated to the Goddess Katyayani alias Mahisasura Mard/ani, probably

built in 12th, Sent. AD.

One inscription dated 1172 A.D.. and

belonging to the reign of Samant Singh, is found from this

temple^ '>0.

JAWAR, located 40 Kms away in the south of Udaipur, has

jawar Mata Temple of the late medieval period.

In addition to

this temple, temples devoted to Shiva and Vishnu, are also noted
in Jawar.

Ramabai, daughter of Maharana Kumbha, built a Vishnu

Temple known as Ramaswami^in 1497 Ad,, at Jawar 1 J51 .

SISARAMA, a village, is located about 7 Kras away in the west
of Udaipur city,

The Baijnath temple


# there, was built by

Devkuraari the Mother of Maharana Sangram Singh, in 1716 A.D,

Four templets and one Bavadi were also built within the same
compound, most probably in the later period.


ABU or Arbuda, the name has occupied the place in the Vedas 1 55..

The Puranas


, like Matsya Purana, Markandeya Purana, Vayu

Purana, Vishnu Purana, Vamana Purana etc. have referred to Abu

or Arbuda as a mountain or hill.
tioned in the Mahabharata ^ ,

Its name has been also men-

These are the earliest references

to the people of this region and,the sacred mountains of Abu or

.: 35.:


And, of course, there are various other legends descri

bing the origin of these mountains or hills.

The sage Yasistha

begged as a boon from .Shiva that a portion of the mighty Himala

yas be moved to the spot where he whihed to live.

There is a

place known as Yasistha Ashram**Since mythical times the

sages and the Gods of the Hindu Pantheon saved this spot of area,
where the Jains built their Majnificent temples afterwards.


earliest inscription dated 671 A.B* (727 Y.E.) comes down from a
time when the hill was a stronghold of Shaivism.
Temples at Abu,

The Hindu

hough less known, are of importance for the

History of Art and Culture** ^

The ear>iy history of Abu is a

long and broken record of the reign of western Che^Lukya kings,

of Farmaras and Anhilwara princes.
The nearby places like Delwara, Oriya, (Between Achalgarh
and Delwara), Achalgarh, Rishikesh (about 8 Kms from Abu Road)
Madavaji (about 13 Kms, from Rishikesh) Devasthanji (about 40 Kms
from Madvaji), and Yastahnji (about 23 Kms* from Devasthanji),
are the places where the temples of Hindu panthem are found,
Amongst them .Jagannath*^8 or Dwarkadhisa Temple, (Cir.6th,-7th
Cent, A.D,) at Achalgarh, and Achaleswar>

Mahadev. Temple and.

the Cluster of temples located in the Vasistha Ashram, are the

worth mentioning*

Though later, the Jain temple complex at


Delwara, popularly known as Yimala^ahfs temples, is of equally

importance for the inconographers* Maharana Kumbha lad built a
Achalgarh (Fort)
in 1453 A,D. (1509 V.E), near Abu, which
had encouraged the activities of Hindus.

: 36 :


Identification of Images
IGON^s the word, is derived from the Greek word Eikon
and it means, an image or a figure or a representation i.e.
either a pictorial representation in flat painting or a figure
in low relief or any sign which resembles the thing it repre
sents and held sacred bacause of being created as a focal p;,'cint
of religious veneration.

Some may use the word 'Idol* for image,

however, the Hindus do not like it.

Because of, the word Idol

is often used in the sense of Ihlse God".

In Sanskrit, the

word Pratima is used for Tulyata or resemblance or rupa or form

or Pratibimba or shadow.

In the conception of the Image, the

Hindu idea of a Pratima has some resemblance

161 .

The images

and the image worship are taken so much for granted among the


that one can ever hardly come across any elaborate

psychological and/or philosophical justification for their

currency in their religious texts.

However, two conceivable

and mutually incongruous approaches to image worship are dis-.ce'rnible. in the sacred Brahmanical texts $ one, accepting it as a
phychological necessity and the other asserting,it as a divine
presence to lend His the spirtual progress of a devotee.
An image, therefore a must in the beginning of the Sadhana,
is a greater- must after God-realization to maintain the
rupturous intimacy between the Bhagavana and his Bhakta.


: 37 :
vast immobile and static Brahman of the Venantins is made sweet,
tender and adorable only through such a devotion and mutual
warm hearted relationship of Bhakta with the Lord, who is not
only both static (Shiva) and dynamic (Shakti) but the Paramashiva who contains as well as transcends these both on a still
subtler, loftier and profounder plane.
Indian sculptural art came to be labelled as religious,
however,Munshi K.M.
states that, in fact it Is not religious
in the sense in which the European Art of the Middle ages was
religious, that Is, other wordly.

Indian did not look at life

in compartments; nor did it recognise the domains of art,

religion, philosophy and mystic experience as separate.


viewed existence as a whole : matter, life, mind and spirit each

involved in the other, each integrated with the other in harmo
nious pattern.

Indian sculpture was almost synonymous with

While, Iconography concerns mainly with the study

of the religious figures or icons or images., may be in any

* media. As Banerjea^^ states, the term Iconography really signi
fies the interpretative aspect offbhe religious art of a area
which becomes manifest in diverse ways.

In India, art. found

its home in the temple which was not only the physical core,
but the soul of the community.
The Indian sculpture and architecture is one, however,
there are provinicial variations in its formal development,
existing side by side with religion variation in pure style.

: 38 :
They illustrate the background,in philosophy and religion that
are still blended together in this country.

Sculptural repre

sentations of our different devenities viz,

Gods and Goddesses,

are significant in as much as that a kind of symbolism meant for

meditation attaches to them.

This philosophy gives a peculier

importance to the different images found in the area from

Kashimir to Kanyakumari,

Indian artist or shilpin or craftsman,

is not a peculiar individual with special gift of experience,

but simply a craftsman meeting a general demand.

His vocation

is herediatary and he receives his education in the workshop.

His genius is not an individual achievement, but it manifests
the quality of the society at any given period in the work of a
single school.

He is not the master of his own theme, nor does

he choose his own work.

For him the theme, methods of work etc.

are laid down in the shilpasastras or canonical prescriptions,

'which lay down instructions to make such and such images in such
and such fashion.
The present work is based on the study of the Brahmanical
Images found in the Chittor Fort and in some other important
centres of Mewar.

It is clear that the centres selected for

study and survey are not covering the whole part of Mewar,
Deities belonging to the Brahmanical pantheon are studied in
this work.

After having discussed the images of the major Gods,

the images of Goddesses, minor deities, couple figures, compo

site figures and the mythological scences, have been discussed.

: 39 :

For the study of Brahmanical Iconography, the materials

a?e not inconsiderable, and they are of two distinct kinds

.Archaeological and (ii)


utilised in the present study.

Both the sources are

Although the archaeological

materials form the primary source for this work, yet the import
tance of literary works cannot be minimised.

In fact, In a

work like this of Brahmanical Iconography, literary sources are

necessary, for they have great corroborative value.

The main

sources for the study of Iconography, are the Vedas, Sutras,

Smritis, Puranas, Agamas, Taritras and the Shilpasastras.
Besides these, the studies published in the Journals and period
icals, and Reports of Archaeological Survey of India and others,
are also of greater importance.

Details of the works consulted

for this thesis are given in Bibliography.

Mewar had its own texts on iconography.

These works like

Rupamandana, Rupavatara, Devatamurti Prakarana are used in this


However sometimes, It was found that use of texts from

other areas were employed.

They were also utilised.

In the

present study,. efforts are made to arrange the literary sources

in chronological order.

However, it is possible, sometimes

chronology is overlooked.

In addition to the literary sources, in the identification

of images, the great help is taken from the clues provided by
the internal testimony oijfthe images understudy.
have their names inscribed below them.

Some images

For example, all. the

images found in the interior of the Vi.jayastambha, Chittor Fort,

the Shiva temple near Delhi Gate and the Rajarajeswari Temple,:
Udaipur, have the names of the respective deities inscribed
below them.

Some images in the Kumbha^yam and the Rat. neswar

Temples, Chittor Fort,; the Mahadev Temple, Kumbhalgarh; the

Museum of Archaeology, Udaipur, are also inscribed with the
names of the respective deities represented therein.


substantially tallying with these inscribed images have been

identified accordingly, and in doing so, sometimes, the differ
ences of Mudras or the Substitution of Kalash for. Bi/jora have
been overlooked.
Several other clues are also employed for identifying the

Whenever, a special article specified for a particular

deity viz. Noose in case of Vanina, Thunderbolt in case of


Indra, Staff in case of Yama, Shakti in case of Kaxftikeya, Banner

in case of Vayu is found, which Unambiguously pointed out to the
identity of the deity bearing it* the bearing that particular
article was identified with the deity with whom that article
is associated.

Most of the Dikpalas and some of the Rudras are

identified in this way.

However, the distinction between

Mahakal and Ishan is made on the basis of Kalash and Bijora

rather than the principal articles viz..Khatvanga or Trident.
Similarly, the vehicles of different deities are also referred
to in different texts.

Except in some cases viz. Indra and

Kubem with elephant vehicle or Bhairava and Nirruti with dog

vehicle, the vehicles of one deity hardly tallies with that of
any other deity.

Of course, in one instance discovered in the

: 41 :

Saraadhiswar Temple, Chittor Fort

Vaishnavi is portrayed with

an elephant vehicle suggests that Lakshmi and Vaishnavi were

considered to be the same deity at some specific theme.


idea gets confirmed by one image of Lakshmi with fgaruda vehicle

preserved in the State museum, Mt, Abu,

Whenever vehicle parti

cular to some specific deity is found in an image, the deity

represented there is identified accordingly provided that other
attributes found in that image did not contradict that conclus

However, in some instances vehicle alone has to be accepted

for identifying the deity as no other clue was available.


those cases, where two deities have the same vehicle, the artist
cles in hands are taken into account for identifying them*
The images which could net be recognized with the help of

their articles in hands or vehicles, Eyth-content of i/uranic

text or tradition has been examined to discover some ic.onographical clues.

When an image is identified with the help of such

clues, special names are suggested for those forms so that the
forms of the deities portrayed there might be distinguished from
their other forms found elsewhere.

It is with the help of such

mythological-cum-iconographical clues, that the Sarasvati consort

and Savitri-consort-Brahmas are distinguished and the purandljar
form of Indra is identified,


The principle of analogous inference is also applied for

identifying certain images i.e, if an image confirms the main
features of a deity as given in the texts pr any inscribed

: 42 :
image but also disagrees with them in some vital detail, even
then it is identified accordingly trusting that the local tradi
tions might have been responsible for the difference.


work in this field is necessary.

Abnormal forms or forms that do not tally with the stream
of the texts are also found in the region under study. How such
forms arising created is. interesting to note.

Such forms are

possibly created at the instance of a certain class of donors

or patrons who do not like some forms or who has some notions
of his own.

Moreover, media or material with which artist works,

also plays its oval role.,

If the stone is 'weak at certain spots,

the shilpin fashioned it according to convenience, and thus

either reduced the number of heads or hands or changed the order
of symbols, sometimes changed symbols also.

These, naturally,

constituted the iconographie peculiarties of such images.


example, from the original form, developed many other forms of

Vishnu, according mostly to the individual tpste and conception
of the authors

and sculptors or the donors or the patrons of

the different images.

Sometimes traditions or Miyths are also

found to support these variations.

that with four arms his

When the worshipper thought

(bd does not become powerful enough, he

increased the number of hands from two to four, six, eight, ten,
twelve, fourteen, sixteen, twenty or more.

When, again he though

that his God with one face and less number of hands was not able
to display all his might or illustrate the Mythology connected
with the God or Goddess, went on increasing the number of faces

: 43 :
or hands one after another till he was satisfied.

In such

casesp attributes found in the hands of the deity are numerous.

Only Mythological story or local traiditions help in identify
ing such figures.

It is interesting to note that, some texts

prescribe the number of. hands or say many but do not tell about
the attributes to be fixed in the hands.
Besides identification of the deities portrayed in the
images, an endeavours has also been made in the present work,
to suggest better and suitable criteria for naming them by point
ing out the distinguishing features which are taken into consi
deration for distinguishing between different forms of the samedeity.. This^naming gives them distinct personal! ty.
Various terms for the attributes, poses and attitudes exhi
bited by the deities, are from the old and standard works of the
eminent scholars.
The present study cannot claim to be entirely an original

But, it tries to give the description and identification

of Brahmanical deities found in important centres of Mewar*region.

However, it is not at all intended to prepare a comprehensive
catalogue or report of the available images, but the purpose of
this study is to present the collective and conclusive thoughts
regarding the iconographic evolution, variation and development
that took place in and around Chittor*

The classification of

various types of the images, has been done with a view to suggest
the varieties and development of iconographical features of the

s 44 :
Gods and Goddesses that are recorded and studied,, An attempt
has been made to trace the conceptual origin of the Brahmanical
deities from the available sources.
This study tries to correlate the text and images, show
their variaties and indicate the growth of Iconography of this

It is seen that generally the .Iconography follows the

texts available in this region.

However significant development

is obtained from inscribed images and local traditions.


study therefore, indicates both a continuity of the traditionand accomodates certain changes in it.

: 45 :


Imperial Gazetteer of India, Rajputana, p.111.


Ibid p, 107; also see Oza, G*H., Udaipur Rajya Ka ttihas,

Ajmer, V.S.1988, Vol.I, p.2.


Oza,G.H,, op,cit.I/P.2.


Ibid., l/p.1; Somani R.V., Maharana Kumbha p.2.


Oza, op.cit,I/*p.1,


Indian Archaeological Review (IAR), 1953-4, p.37.; *56-57

pp*5-7; also see Researcher Vol.V-VIpp,52-53; Mortimer
Wheeler, Early India and Pakistan, p*42; Research Vol.IIIIV pp.61-62; IAR *54-55 p.58; IAR 55-56 p.68; IAR 58-59
p.42; IAR *59-60 p.39? IAR 63-64 p.29? and Sankalia H.D.,
The excavations at Ahar, p.232.


Raychaudhari G.c., History of Mewar, Calcutta, p.7.


Indian Historical Quarterly Vol.XXVII, p.222*


Sehgai K.K. (ed.), Rajasthan District Gazetteers, Chittorgarh,

Udaipur, 1977, p*5.


Raychaudhari, op.clt.p.7.


Ibid., p.8.


Ibid*, p.8* .


Ibid*, p.8*


Sehgai K.K*, op.cit. p.25.


Conningham, Corpus Inscriptions Indicoram, Vol.I, pp,36-67.


Banerji Adris,
No,4, p*346.

'History of Mewar*, JOI, Baroda, Yol*XII,


Imperial Gazetteer of India, Rajpurtana, p.94; also see

ASIAR Vol.VI p.203

18, ;

Gahilot, J*:S*., Rajpurtana Ka Itihas, Jodhpur,1937, pp.11-12

also see Sehgal op.cit, 25-26.,

19, =

ASIAR V01.VI p,l97., '


Banerji Adris, op *pit,pp,347-8; also see Sehgal, op.cit*


Sehgal, op.cit, p.26; also see Banerji Adris, op.cit* p*347

p#;26' Sharma Dasaratha Dr*:, Rajasthan through the. Ages*


v /


Banerji Adris* op*eit* p*347;


Jamindar Rasesh, KsM;rapa-Kal-nul. Guj srat-, Ahmedabad,1975,


pp*62,75-76* 78,1.30-132*

24. ; ibid*1, p* 101 .



Gahiot,. op^bit.,pp*13-l4;


Sehgal, op.cit, p,28.


Ibid* ? p*29j also see Sharma D.*, op.cit, pp*234-249 and

II, Vol.XXP.99v


Raychaudhary, Gpv.cit*. pp.20,25; also see Ajopa J.N., Origin

of the Rajputs, Delhi, 1976, pp.102-119j Tod Col*Annals and
Antiquities: of Rajasthan, Voi,I/pp*258-59; Sehgal, op*cit.


Bhandarkar D.R,, IASB, Vol.V,l905,'pp.167-69..


Bhavanagar:Inscriptions, pp.74-77.

31*. BI,. pp.83-87} aos see Indian Antiquery, Vol.XVI, pp.347-51.


'El, Vol.XXlV pp*;3!8...

33* V JUPHS, Vol.X pp25.

34. BI, p.141.
35., Somani, R,^,1, History of Mewar, Jaipur. 1975^ p.32.

; 47 :


El, Vol.XX* III, pp.234-237.


Raychaudhary, op.cit. pp*20-23.


Tod, Ypl.l/p.259.


El, Vol.XX p.99*


BI, pp.74-77.


Raychahdhary, op.cit., pp.28-29.


Ibid., p.29.


IA, Vol.IV, p,101.


Shah, U.P., The sculptures from Sama|aj|Cand Roda, Baroda,

1960, pp.4-6; also see, Lalit Kala No.6., Plate No.XX.


Shah, U.P. op.cit.pp.5-6,


SI, Vol,IV,p.31-32, also see Oza, op.Git p*99.


GahELot, J.S., op.cit,p,181.


IA, Vol.XVI, pp.347-51; also see Oza op .cit.p.100.


Oza, Op.cit,, I/pp,102-104.


Tod, I/pp*268-69.


Oza, I/p.105.


Ibid,, I/pp,106-110.


Ibid., I/p.106.


Ibid,, I/p,106^109.


Quated from Tod, I/p,266.


Tod., I/pp.268-69; II/pp.919-22; also see Oza, I/p.109.


Tod, I/p.269,


Oza, l/p.110.


GahtLot, op. cat* p.187; also see Oza, op.cit.p.116.

: 48 :


Ibid, , p.187.


Oza, I/pp.118-20; Tod, I/pp.291-97.


Somani, op,cit.pp.46-76; Oza, I/pp*130-65, also see Ray,

H.C., Dynastic History of Northern India,,. '


Oza, I/pp.66-67; Hamit-Mada-Mardan, G.O.S* Baroda, Hamir



Oza, I/pp.181-82,


Tod,I/pp.308-312; Oza, I/pp.181-191 also see Somani,



Oza, I/p.192,


Tod, I/pp.315-319? Oza I/pp,.198-99,233-43.


Tod, I/pp.319-20.


Ibid> I/pp.321; also seej


Tod, I/pp.321-22; Oza, 1/ p.,259-63.


Oza, I/pp*271-72.


Tod, I/p.333; Oza, I/p.279; also see Somani, Maharana

Kumbha, pp.55-57.


Oza, I/pp.243-58.

Vir Vinod Vol.I/p.320, This is not referred to Jain Kirtistambha.


Somani, R.V,, Maharana Kumbha, p,348; Oza, I/pp.304-305.


Oza, I/pp.308-314: also see Sarda Maharana Kumbha, Ajmer,

1932, pp,146-62.


Maharana Kumbha patronized various activities related to

Aribj, and Architectures, his such activities are discussed
in detail at some other place in the present work.

: 49 :



Oza, I/pp.308-312; Sarda, op.cit pp.146-62; Vir Vinod,

I/pi334; Tod, l/pp.335r336. ,

Oza, I/pp.3.46-58; .also see Sharma, G.N.Mewar and the
Mughal Emperors, Agra* 1962, pp.19-45.


Oza, I/p.409.


Ibid., 1/^.410-11.


Ibid., I/pp.411-16.


Ibid.,, I/p.421,


Ibid., I/pp.423-75 also see T0d, I/pp.385-400.


Oza., I/pp.489-509; Tod, I/pp.407-427. '


Tod., I/pp.432-434; afso see Oza,


Tod, I/p.434; also see Oza, II/pp,531-80.


Oza, II/pp, 1128-1131.


Ibid., II/pp. 709-713.


Ibid,, H/pp.741.


Goetz, Herman,, Chittorgarh, Marg. Vol.XJI,


Catalogue of Doins of Ancient India, (Allan), C,xxiv,F.


Sharma, Dasharatha, "Chittor, a part of Yashodharman's


Dominions", Researcher, Vol.V-YI, 1964-65, p.7.


Sharma, ,Dy-;Rpjasthan Through' the. Ages, op.cit.p.51-52.

94., GOS Mo.CXXX,. Bgroda, 1958,' pp.230r-42.


Oza, I/pp. 107-110.


Tod, I/p.269.


Sharma, G.N., Rajasthan Ka-Itihas, Vol.I/pp.47-49.


Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 1960,


: 50 :


Tod, I/p.266.

100. El, Vol.XXIV, p.322.

101. BI, 118, V,-12,
102. El, XXIV/p.65; V/p.7.
103. Raychaudhary, op,cit.p.31.
104. Sehgal, op.cit,, p.25.
105. For this description, following works are consulted,
Oza, I/pp,287,309-10,318-319; Geotz, op.oit.p,44; Sarda,
op,cit,pp.139-44, 212-22.; Swadhyaya, Baroda, Vol.5(4)*
pp.511-15; Fergus.son J,A History of Indian and Eastern
Architecture, London,1910, p.253; Nath #R. On identifi
cation of Kumbhaswamin-Aaya of the Kirtistambha Prasati;

Cultural contours of India, Dr.Satyaprakash Felici/ation

Vol,,, New Delhi,1981, pp.165-69; Tod, I/p.235,III/pp.181921; Smith Vincent A., K History of Fine Art in India and
Ceylon, Oxford, 1911, pp,202-3,
106. Agrawala R.C,, Rajasthan Bharati, Bikaner, Vol.IX-2,
1966, pp.30-31.
107. Tod, Vol,II /919*22,
108. Sharma D., Rajasthan through the Ages, p.240,
109. Vir Vinod, p.391.
110. Agrawala R.C,,Mewad-Ka-Kucch Mahatvapurna Shilalekh, Varda
Bissau, Vol.IX(i), Ian.'66, pp,64-65.
111. Vir Vinod pp.392-396.

51 :

112. Ibid., pp.397-401; also see IA, Vol.XVI/p,35.

113* Swadhyaya., Baroda, Vol.5(4),pp,511-15*
114. Oza, I/p.52.

115* Ibid., 1/242; BI/97...

116. ElfVol.2/p*415.
117. Oza, I/p.47.

118. Ibid,, 1/J37*; R^utana GazetteerII{.b)/p. 116.

119* Ibid; I/p,32.
120. Bl/pp.117-23,
121. Oza, I/pp.32-33.
122. Journal of Bombay Asiatic Society, Vol,I/pp.311-12,
123. Oza, I/p.34.
124. Ibid,, I/p.98.
125. Ibid,, I/p.98 Footnote.
126. Oza, I/p.163.
127. Ibid;-,I/p.34.

128. Ibid,, I/p,575; Rajanagar village was establl&shed after

the name of Maharana RajSingh, Morethan 60,000 workers
were employed for the work of Rajsamundra, Probably,
this village or town was developed and formed for these
129. Ibid., r/pp,6~7.
130. Ibid., II/pp,569-574,
131. Vir Vinod, vol.II/p,446.
132. Varma Narayanlal,
133. Oza, I/p,409,
134. Ibid., I/p,421,
135. Ibid., I/p.6.

Ramakpur, Udaipur 1979-80,p.27*

: 52 :
136. Ibid., II/pp.620-22.
137. Ibid.,. Il/p.575.
138. Ibid.., II/p.663.
139. Ibid., II/p.662.

140. Ibid., 11/^19

141. Ibid., Il/p.731.
142. Ibid. , II. /p.781
143. Ibid.,I I/p.805.
144. Ibid-., I/p.31.
145. Ibid., I/pp.31-32., also see El Vbl.39/p.191.
146. Ibid*, I/p.31.
147. Ibid,,I/p.121,
148. Ibid,, I/p,31.
149. Ibid*, I/p.T
150. Ibid., I/p.145.
151. Ibid.., I/pp.39 & 345.


152. ibid.*' l/p#22j II/p,620,

153. Dave, K.B.,

Ambika, Koteswar-ane-Kurnbharia (Gujarati),

Oriental Int. Baroda, 1963, p. 22..

154. Ibid,, Pi22; also see Shah U.P,

Some early sculptures

from Abu & Bhilai* f bbmpg, Vol.XII,pp.46-47.

155. Dave K.B., op.cit.p*23.
156. Ibid , p.23, also see BBMPG, Vol,Xli3p..5o,
157. BBMPG, Vol,XII,p.43.
158. Ibid,,p,44.
159. Oza,. 1/312,
160. I am indept to Prof.. Dr.A.R.G.Tiwari, my Guide, for this
philosophical discussions,

: 53 :

161, Bhattacharya, B.C., Indian Images, Calcutta, 1921,

, pp.X-XI.
162, Here, Hindus mean, the followers of the religions of

Indian origin viz, Brahmanical, Jainism and Buddhism.

163., Munshi, K,M,, Indian Temple S culpture, Calcutta, 1956,



164, Banerjea, Development of Hindu Iconography, pp.1-2.